1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition

Open date May 10
Close date November 10
Size acres 285 with 71 acres under cover
30,000 exhibitors
Attendance paid 8 004 000
Attendance total 9 789 000
Loss $ 4,5 million
Philadelphia hosted the first major World’s Fair in America to mark the 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. There are a lot of photographs from the Exposition at the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Print and Picture Collection.

Centennial Exposition, Anthropology Exhibits

Inventions, office equipment and supplies
The main attraction was a big George Corliss steam engine. On the same show Alexander Graham Bell demonstrated the telephone for the first time for a larger audience.

  • Writing and printing ink powder
  • Thomas Edison’s Electric pen
  • Thomas Edison’s telegraph
  • Morse telegraph
  • Typewriters

More information about the inventions at officemuseum.com.

Slater Spinning FramePhiladelphia Centennial ExhibitsPhiladelphia Centennial - Mammal Exhibit Philadelphia Centennial Bird Exhibit

Plan to build a big tower?
Around the same time as the exhibition in Philadelphia, the two North American engineers Clarke and Reeves, had a plan to build a giant tower of iron, the core would be 9 feet in diameter, with a base of 45 feet in diameter. But the plan was never realized.
source Ny Illusterad Tidning 1889 p. 185

International contacts and new started companies
The Swede August Stenman tied contacts and closed business deals in Philadelphia Exposition. Stenman eventually founded locking giant ASSA (www.assa.se).

After the expo Mr Albert Pope returned to Boston and started the first American bicycle manufacturer – the Pope Manufacturing Company.


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